Hang Gliding, National Geographic Magazine

Dangerous Things Build Strength

Posted on Posted in Organization, Visualization

Each day you see people doing dangerous things, asking a girl out on a date, hang gliding, performing in front of thousands of people at a concert or simply bringing up a conflicting opinion among coworkers.  Often times we sit back and think how different the type of person who can do this is from us.  We believe that they have a special ability to feel comfortable in front of others, take physical risks and/or communicate well etc.

Feeling danger and disconnected from my own personal strength used to be my norm.   Then something started slowly shifting inside me, I believe it was prompted by long drives with Wayne Dyer while I worked out of a van selling Philip Morris products:).  Of course, Wayne wasn’t actually there, but his audio books were and they changed my life.  The lessons I learned are too long to detail in a single post, so I’ll share just a few related to the topic of overcoming danger.

  • You must be independent of the opinion of others. Ah, deep breath in and out here.  I cannot control how people perceive me.  I don’t need to know what they think; rather I seek to feel authentic in what I share and treat people with respect, regardless of their feelings about me.
  • Your EGO is often at odds with universal laws and principles. I have a lot to learn from people.  I also have a lot to share, but I do not need to devote time to asserting my uniqueness.  Nor, do I need to spend time judging others to inflate my opinion about myself.  We are all at different points in this journey; it is not my job to judge.
  • Our intentions create our reality. We each create our own personal realities by what we focus on.  I have the power to create a beautiful or torturous life.  I take 100% responsibility for how I feel today.
  • You can only give others what you have inside of yourself. Before I learned to love and appreciate the innate gifts I’ve been given, I didn’t see them in others.  I ask a lot of questions, because I want to deeply know people.  It is my calling to care and help, I understand that not everyone is open to this; I don’t allow it to hurt me.

Internalizing these lessons over the years has allowed me to dramatically change my perception of danger.   I no longer see the world as a threatening place; instead I use it as a playground for strengthening my abilities to enjoy life and give.

There were many baby steps along the way to grow these danger fighting muscles.  I’ll share a few to inspire and demonstrate how slow progress can be.

  1. Opinions of others: It’s dangerous to be on stage, you are vulnerable and open to judgement.  I used to tremble when I spoke in front of others, now I jump at the opportunity because I know that every time I do it, I’m less nervous the next time.  It doesn’t always work out perfectly, at times I have faltered and I consider it my chance to make others feel comfortable with their own slip ups.
  2. An EGO at odds: I listen a lot more than I talk. There was a time when if someone shared an opinion very different form mine, I would provide rationale for my stance and why it should be strongly considered.   I then realized that I was sitting on my own unique “high-horse” of specialness.  I got off that horse and have enjoyed relationships more deeply.
  3. Intentions create reality: In the past there would be nights I came home from work only to dwell on a bad conversation, work issue or something I disliked at work. This only made me sink further into despair.  Then I learned to take up hobbies to fill my mind with positive thoughts.  I learned how to read Tarot cards (remember—don’t judge:)), I read 4 books a month, I made a new recipe each week and most recently I learned how to garden and can vegetables.  Finding hobbies didn’t take my issues away, but re-focusing my energy on positive learning experiences created a much more satisfying life and open up new doors in my career.
  4. You can only give what you have inside: At times anxiety makes my brain shut down when I need to use it most at work. I’ve forgotten details or provided inadequate solutions to issues.  I was disappointed in myself, but I always had compassion for the soul that was trying, even when others didn’t.  I’m human, I’m not perfect, but I’m finding my find my way.  The more compassionate I am with myself the more I offer to others.  Friendships blossom with compassion and the support enables us all to become stronger.

What dangerous thing can you do today that will increase your personal strength?  It doesn’t have to be a major project, rather a baby step in the right direction.  At all times remember to give yourself compassion as you grow.